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  • Canon PowerShot SX20IS 12.1MP Digital Camera with 20x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-Inch Articulating LCD
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Canon PowerShot SX20IS 12.1MP Digital Camera with 20x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-Inch Articulating LCD

by Canon
| 74 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • High-powered 20x wide-angle optical zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer
  • Capture 720p HD movies with stereo sound; HDMI output connector for easy playback on your HDTV
  • 2.5-inch Vari-Angle System LCD; improved Smart AUTO intelligently selects from 22 predefined shooting situations
  • DIGIC 4 Image Processor; 12.1-megapixel resolution for poster-size, photo-quality prints
  • Powered by AA batteries (included); capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)
1 new from $579.99 18 used from $134.94 1 refurbished from $229.00


Technical Details

  • Built-in Flash
  • Image Stabilization
  • Video Capability
  • Mac Compatible

Read about our customers' top-rated cameras on our review page: Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 3.5 x 3.4 inches ; 1.2 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 7 pounds
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B002LITT3I
  • Item model number: SX20IS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (503 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,864 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: August 19, 2009

Product Description

From the Manufacturer

Discover the HD difference. With the classically stylish PowerShot SX20 IS, you can produce magnificent HD movies and dazzling photos. Loaded with features, it’s got a high-powered 20x wide-angle optical zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer, 12.1 megapixels, a big 2.5-inch Vari-Angle LCD, Blink Detection and more.

The PowerShot SX20 IS is equipped with many of the same features as a higher-end camera: an ultra-powerful zoom, eye-popping resolution and advanced picture-improving technology. 12.1 megapixels of resolution gives your photography incomparable depth and ensures that any section of any shot can be enlarged and cropped with no loss in quality when you edit the image even if you choose to print the image. It can create crisp, clear 13 x 19-inch posters.

PowerShot SX20 IS Highlights

Canon PowerShot SX20 highlights
20x optical zoom in action
20x wide-angle optical zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer
The PowerShot SX20 IS is equipped with a 20x Optical Zoom lens with a focal length of 5.0-100mm (35mm equivalent: 28-560mm) that allows you to shoot any scene from wide-angle to telephoto. The camera uses a VCM (Voice Coil Motor) for high-speed, quiet, energy-efficient lens movement with precise control. Focal length is conveniently indicated on the lens barrel.

Canon PowerShot SX20 highlights
The lens is optimized to fully exploit its zoom length and wide shooting angle in concert with the camera’s high 12.1 Megapixel resolution. UD glass effectively suppresses chromatic aberration, while enhanced negative refractive power ensures that distortion at the wide-angle is also corrected. Further aberration is controlled with the inclusion of a double-sided aspherical glass-molded lens and ultra-high refraction index lens.

The SX20 IS is equipped with Canon’s acclaimed Optical Image Stabilizer Technology that automatically detects and corrects camera shake--one of the leading causes of fuzzy or blurred shots. Even when zoomed in, you can get the steady, crisp, brilliant images you’ll be proud to shoot and share. And Canon’s Optical Image Stabilizer Technology is convenient to use. It functions perfectly with or without a flash.

Use the optical zoom while shooting superb 720p HD movies with stereo sound
Canon PowerShot SX20 highlights
If you long for the convenience of an advanced still camera that also creates superb movies, the new PowerShot SX20 IS lets you record video in beautiful high definition (1280 x 720 pixels). The camera also makes it easy to enjoy HD movies (and still photos) on your HDTV with a mini-HDMI connector for direct connection to a high-definition monitor. You'll enjoy the HD experience with no degradation of image or audio in the signal, plus the ability to display up to 130 thumbnails at once.

Improved Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper settings
Just set the Canon PowerShot SX20 IS to Smart AUTO and you're ready for maximum enjoyment from your picture taking every time. It's a relaxing and satisfying way to shoot because you can completely concentrate on your subject knowing that the camera has the technical details covered. Advanced Canon technology intelligently analyzes your situation and shooting conditions. Then it automatically selects an appropriate setting from 22 specially defined settings. So whether you're photographing flowers, a captivating sunset, or your friends at the park, you can be confident that you're getting dramatic, memorable images.

Shooting Modes
Advanced presets for the best possible photos under certain conditions. With 24 Shooting Modes, you're ready for whatever shot comes your way.

DIGIC 4 Image Processor
Canon’s proprietary DIGIC Image Processors have long set its cameras apart from the competition, and the new DIGIC 4 sets the bar even higher. Faster, more accurate noise reduction delivers better image quality, even at high ISO speeds.

iSAPS Technology is an entirely original scene-recognition technology developed for digital cameras by Canon. Using an internal database of thousands of different photos, iSAPS works with the advanced DIGIC 4 Image Processor to improve focus speed and accuracy, as well as exposure and white balance.

Canon PowerShot SX20 highlights
Large 2.5-inch Vari-Angle LCD enables easy viewing
The camera’s 2.5-inch LCD screen gives you the big picture, whether you’re shooting, reviewing or showing off your images. This high-resolution screen offers a crisp, clear picture to make shooting, playback and using the camera’s menu functions especially convenient. Clear and bright, it also features Night Display for easy viewing in low light. It also has an electronic viewfinder that provides sharp images when you shoot close-up with Super Macro shooting mode.

This AA battery powered camera enables you to easily power up
Conveniently, you don’t need to worry about running out of batteries or having to recharging them. Since AA-size batteries can be purchased at any store, simply get new ones locally wherever you go--no special power adapters or chargers are needed.

What's in the Box
  • PowerShot SX20 IS Body
  • AA-size Alkaline Battery (x4)
  • Neck Strap NS-DC4
  • Lens Hood LH-DC50
  • Lens Cap
  • Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM
  • USB Interface Cable IFC-400PCU
  • Stereo Video Cable STV-250N

Product Description

Discover the HD difference. With the classically stylish PowerShot SX20 IS, you can produce magnificent HD movies and dazzling photos. Loaded with features, it’s got a high-powered 20x wide-angle optical zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer, 12.1 megapixels, a big 2.5-inch Vari-Angle LCD, Blink Detection and more.The PowerShot SX20 IS is equipped with many of the same features as a higher-end camera: an ultra-powerful zoom, eye-popping resolution and advanced picture-improving technology. 12.1 megapixels of resolution gives your photography incomparable depth and ensures that any section of any shot can be enlarged and cropped with no loss in quality when you edit the image even if you choose to print the image. It can create crisp, clear 13 x 19-inch posters.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

I love this camera and feel 99%…When you set up your shots it is really easy to accidentally turn off your camera because the actual shutter button is the furtherest away. Read more ›
This camera has traveled with us on every vacation. The quality of the pictures are fantastic and the size is just perfect for traveling. Read more ›
I also like…Images are good on the entire range of the zoom--I know this camera is obsolete, but it has a niche in my photo needs and I love what it does for certain needs. Read more ›
I like the sturdiness and heft…Generally the photos are crisp with use of Auto, but I cannot get the SX20 to focus and shoot details of the center of a flower, for example. Read more ›
The pictures come out clear and crisp. Has many different choices to choose from and when recording the sound quality is great. The camera arrived beautifully packaged and… Read more ›
This camera fits all 4. As for the quality, the pictures are nice, equal to my Coolpix P60 at the least (it covers dealbreakers 1-3). In macro mode it takes unreal closeups. Read more ›
I use this camera mostly to shoot HD video. The powerful zoom is great, you need a tripod or other device to hold it steady though. Not the cameras fault. Read more ›
but when i load the pics onto my computer their colors lose their brilliance; just tune them up a bit using picasa, and there ya go. Zoom is awesome.....videos are awesome. A… Read more ›
The outdoor pictures are awesome with a crisp sharpness to them and outstanding color. The zoom is fantastic. But, the indoor shots are another story. Read more ›
I bought this camera a few days before I went to a concert, and I was able to get great pictures and videos! The zoom is amazing! I would highly recommend this camera, it… Read more ›
Glad friend had earlier model and able to show me more about what camera can do. Zoom is good, but very quick. Focus with Zoom is very good. Read more ›
I've owned this camera for a couple months now and am very…The 20x zoom is fantastic; I find myself using it more often than not, mostly for action shots at sports games. Read more ›
I was looking for a step up from my…The auto functions works well and after some practice I am learning how to use the additional features and manual settings quite well. Read more ›
I admit to being biased towards Canon's…This model is well-built, has great features and picture quality, and is just what I was looking for in this class of camera. Th… Read more ›
I can take great low light photos while holding the camera in my hands, no tripod needed. The Scene options are great, very useful. Camera can catch movement very well. Read more ›
The movie mode is much improved as well. I'm not so concerned about 1080p, as 720p is good enough for most of what I'll be shooting. Read more ›
(A filter adaptor ring for this camera is sold by…The heft of the camera and the size of the controls were pluses as well, since my husband and I both have large hands. I… Read more ›
This camera was the winner for a class of Digital photography, but…Anyways all the features are great, I hope the add some from Nikon and from Kodak in the next release. Read more ›
My main reason for buying this camera was for my annual trip to the beach and I'm really glad I did. The HD video is fantastic - great pool time moments. Read more ›
Video - The video is high quality, while not professional, but for everyday use, it's convenient to have HD video options as well as photos in the same camera. I especially… Read more ›
Lastly, the video quality is just lovely, clear and crisp. What strikes me is how fine the sound is. Read more ›
The LCD Monitor is a real plus for low and high angle shots. The video is really good quality. Myself, I think it's more complicated than a DSLR. Read more ›
During the morning, in the pit area, it once again performed flawlessly. Videos were professional looking with practically no effort. I was free of the 30 pound bag I carry… Read more ›
That's something i don't mind, but it may hinder you, so it's something to think about. The HD video is GREAT. That's one of the things that sold me on the camera. Read more ›
excellent for use I wanted, pictures could be a little sharper and a little slow between shots if picture review is turned on, if off recovery time is much quicker. Zoom… Read more ›
It's very easy to use, and I would suggest it to anyone who wants to start getting into photography and wants to get a cheap beginners camera or just the average person… Read more ›
This is the second time I've bought this camera--only because I gave the first one to my son then realized how much I missed having this…Easy to operate, easy to learn. A… Read more ›
Amazing, light weight, small size, full function, easy to use, wonderfully rugged, camera with thousands of shutter drops and not the slightest indication that it is… Read more ›
Best camera for the non professional photographer. Very easy to use. The next step up is the SLR cameras. Read more ›
When it was working, it took great pictures and was very easy to use. Read more ›
I also like the fact that it uses AA batteries -- not an expensive, built-in, proprietary type. The lens is great, the macro works very well. I would recommend this camera… Read more ›
The upgrade to 12.1MP over the…The lens is fast enough in low light to capture some long-range zoomed images of birds in the relatively darkness of the tropical rainforest. Read more ›
I've had this camera over 2 years and absolutely love it. The picture quality is great and the telephoto lens is fantastic. I am not a professional by any means, using this… Read more ›
I plan on doing the rechargeable route with 2 sets so I always have charged ones on hand. The lens cap is a huge hassle!! I would pay for a better lens cap. Read more ›
Compared with my former super-zooms, there is also much less issue with chromatic aberration. Really superb lens. Read more ›
The price is as good as it gets. and with Amazon prime, it doesn't get any better than that. The only drawback was the lens cover. Read more ›
I have other Canon cameras as well as Canon products. The price was great and the shipping was fast. Highly recommend Read more ›
They work well for someone like me who is looking for good quality family shots although I think its way better than a basic point and shoot…The price also was a good buy. Read more ›
I got a nice camera at a nice price & I got it quickly, i will buy more in the future. Read more ›
This is a good product and very good price that I can find on internet. I recommend to others this product. Read more ›
I already shelled out $500 for this camera, I've only used for 3 years. It's not that great of a value if you are having to fix it at 40% of it's original cost. And of… Read more ›
This camera easily take super close-ups on the macro settings, and can zoom in 20X (80X digital), with…The articulating screen is nice to take pictures at different angles. Read more ›
The ability to use regular…The fully articulating and swiveling screen is great for taking shots from unusual angles while still being able to see what you are recording. Read more ›
It's about an inch thick when printed on 8 1/2" x 11". Articulating LCD panel is really nice. And the viewfinder (yay! Read more ›
Night pictures also turned out great, with very…The articulating LCD is also nice, although a 3" screen instead of the 2.5" would have been even better in an ideal world. Read more ›
the flip screen is nice, although it seems like more of a novelty than anyhting else, i usually just flip it back to "normal" against the back of the camera view. the… Read more ›
>Battery life is great! >The articulating LCD screen is great! >Start-up time is very fast Read more ›
Daytime picture quality Lots of neat scene modes, color switch and color accent is really great. Adjustable angle for screen, even works for 'myspace mugshot' type pictures. Read more ›
I also have the S5 IS for my wife, and this is…The colors are bright, the images sharp, the zoom range is incredible and the camera itself is a pleasure to hold and use. Read more ›
Even 8x10s aren't sharp. Color reproduction is awesome: bright and saturated, but just not sharp. Read more ›
I was able to catch bees hovering over flowers,…The color accent has been fun, macro stunning, telephoto exceptional, and the 720 HD is a blast for a small camera. The… Read more ›
I have been able to…The Foilage setting brings out even more vibrant colors and is particularly useful when shooting pictures with extensive greenery in the background. T… Read more ›
Aside from these few cons, everything else is pros. The auto-focus, image quality, and color reproduction are outstanding. As I take mostly outdoor nature shots, the… Read more ›
This would not be a problem for me since…Manual focus works fairly well, but it is still hard to tell if your shot is actually focused when looking at a small LCD screen. Read more ›
I do a lot of close-up/macro…The focusing is wonderful, you could literally touch the lens and still have your finger in focus, but it is not magnified to see the details. Read more ›
Great video and photo capabilities with tons of features. Face recognition / focusing works well. Easily integrates with iPhoto, including the HD video. Read more ›
Cons: * Has great difficulties focusing when not outside... frequent out of focus indoor pictures. * Periodic focus problems when taking movies outside... inside movie… Read more ›
It's a very very good camera, powerfull zoom and focused pictures taked on hands. You don't need a tripod. Read more ›
I took some sunset pictures at dusk and some of the moon at dusk and they all came out great…Love the zoom at 20X, it is very clear focusing in a matter of seconds. My… Read more ›
However the pictures taken with this camera are generally very good. The onboard flash is good for taking pictures of subjects close by. The modes allow you to optomize… Read more ›
I tend to agree that the flash is not great. I even bought an external flash and I don't care for the way the pictures turn out with that either. Read more ›
Even on…The flash is much too bright overall and when looking at the photos, you can even tell the orientation of the camera because the flash is much brighter on one side. Read more ›
relatively light flash is strong enough to light a building from across the street at night flash is variable and monitored through the lens Read more ›
The Macro and Super Macro…The flash is powerful enough on it's own, and you have the option to adding a dedicated speedlite flash to it's hotshoe, which is a nice feature. Read more ›
After practicing with most of the features, I used…The Auto Mode works as good as any; and using the Scene Mode set to ISO 3200 for night shots without a flash was great. Read more ›
Mostly I don't use the LCD view screen. The viewfinder is faster. But I will use it when photographing plants. Read more ›
The flip LCD screen is…The camera has a viewfinder which is becoming very rare these days in all but DSLRs, trust me in bright sunlight the viewfinder is a blessing to use. Read more ›
Great zoom, manageable features (I'm what one might call an enthusiast, but I hate reading instructions), top quality pictures, fast action, stability controls are great… Read more ›
Ability to use AA batteries. 2.5" articulating display, plus an electronic viewfinder for those really sunny days. HDMI out connection. Read more ›
What do I miss most when switching from my NIKON? That bright, super clear viewfinder. Will it clip highlights? Read more ›
7) image quality average 8) tricky menus until understood and then works well...in viewfinder is nice...fast menu display. 9) Many options but are laid out well, dont… Read more ›

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,108 of 1,126 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 6, 2009
Let me start off by saying that I'm not a professional photographer. My decision to purchase the SX20 IS was based on a desire to get an excellent still shot camera, with high capacity zoom, that also had HD Video (720p) capabilities. So, I began my research and spent many hours scouring the web to make an informed decision. I had narrowed my choice to the Canon SX20 IS and the Panasonic DMC-FZ35.

Here are some of the key specs of each camera:

Optical Zoom (Canon: 20, Pana: 18)
Still image files (Canon: Not Raw, Pana: Raw)
Articulating LCD (Canon: Yes, Pana: No)
720p HD video per 2 GB (Canon: 10 min 33 sec, Pana: 15 min)
Video file format (Canon: .mov, Pana: AVCHD Lite)
Battery Type: (Canon: 4 AA, Pana: Li-ion rechargeable)
Stereo Audio (Both)
SD Card Storage (Both)

[...].

In the end I decided to go with Canon for a few key reasons:

#1. The articulating LCD (pull out, tilt/move) was a key factor, as I wanted to be able to shoot from many different angles. It came in handy very soon--the second time I used the camera--I was able to whip out the LCD and get some decent shots at a football game when I had to raise the camera high over my head to shoot over the folks standing in front of me.

#2. The ability to easily share video files. The .mov file format is a more widely accepted format, which can easily be shared (without processing/conversion). The files are accepted on sites such as You Tube. The files can be played with Quicktime and other media players (e.g. VLC). Although the Panasonic camera uses a format which is more compressed and allows more data to be stored on an SD card, the file format is not as wide spread and not as easy to share with others, without converting the file.
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503 of 515 people found the following review helpful By Kirk Tuck on September 4, 2009
I shoot all kinds of stuff with all kinds of cameras. I am a working photographer who shoots for advertising and corporate client as well as to make images for my own books about photography. Over the last two years I've been using small cameras like the Canon G10 and the SX10 for more and more of my work. In the studio, shooting set up shots or small products these cameras shine by dint of their easy to use Live View and increased depth of field. When I bought the SX 10 it was for the long range of the zoom lens which meant I could shoot anything from a construction site to tight shots of the cabins at the top of the construction cranes. I've done some portraits with studio lights and an SX10 and they were also very usable. I wish the SX 10 and SX 20 had raw file capability but they don't. That just means I have to be a bit more careful about WB and exposure. I've used the SX10 at outdoor swim meets and found that the lens performs better than expected right out to the end.

So, why the SX 20? Recently I've been asked to do more and more little video snippets for clients and for my publisher and while I like the results from the SX10 I wanted real HD video for the times that a medical practice has asked for video clips for both their website AND for power point and other uses. I wanted the extra detail for the times that they use the clips in projected presentations. The price point works.

I've spent a couple days testing the SX 10 and the results are very, very good. The front mounted microphones are of very high quality and the sound for most applications is very acceptable. Would I like a mike input? You bet! Does that sour the deal? Not in the least.
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149 of 152 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 5, 2009
Verified Purchase
Years ago I carried and VHS video camera with separate recorder as well as an SLR. Even after video went to the 8mm tape and camera were much smaller I gave up the video and concentrated on stills. I went through the 640 x 480 digital cameras and found the images horrible, digital would never replace film. I've since packed away my film cameras and concentrated on DSLRs. I carry a pocket digital camera for convenince but turn to the DSLR when I plan on taking photos.

Recently I was viewing photos taken by a friend on his SX10 IS. I was intrigued by the features, the quality of the photos, and the video capability. When I went to Amazon.com to check on the price of this camera I saw the SX20 IS slated for release. After viewing the features I decided to wait for this camera. I'm glad I did.

I received this camera on the day I left for a trip to Walt Disney World. While I took the DSLR with me I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn about the SX20 IS. Since I have many Disney World photos I left the DSLR behind most of the time and carried just the SX20 IS.

Recently I took photos with the SX20 IS and my Canon XSi DSLR and compared the photos side by side. The results were consistent with the reviews I've read.

In bright daylight the photos are comparable. As the lighting deteriorates the XS20 IS tends to show more noise. It's not unacceptable to me, just not as good. Also, the DSLR focuses more quickly and accurately most of the time. However, to get the focal length on the lens I'd have to carry more equipment for the DSLR and I still wouldn't be able to take video.

I'm not a video expert but I think the quality on this camera is excellent. It is much sharper than that footage from my old video cameras.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews